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Who is Lizard Squad?

A hacker group that refers to itself as “Lizard Squad” has appeared to claim responsibility for disruptions to Sony’s online PlayStation store and Microsoft’s Xbox site in the latest possible cyber-attacks on the companies.

In an interview with individuals claiming to be members of the group, the tech news site WinBeta reported that Lizard Squad aims to force companies to improve their security by disrupting gaming networks for a short period of time. Lizard Squad targeted Microsoft and Sony on Christmas because “they felt it would anger and reach the largest amount of people,” according to WinBeta. The group considered hacking other companies, such as Nintendo, but decided against taking action.


Lizard Squad also told WinBeta that of the two companies, Microsoft was easier to hack into, and they described the company’s security as “almost nothing.”

The attacks on Sony and Microsoft occurred on Christmas Day, disrupting many users just as they received new consoles and games.

As of Friday, the PlayStation Store Twitter feed said that some users were having trouble logging into its network. It said engineers were investigating.

A notice on Microsoft’s Xbox website said it knew some users were having trouble signing in, saying, ‘‘We’re aware of this issue, and we’re working to find a fix ASAP!’’

The problems were affecting Xbox Live Core Services, though most other applications were up and running, the notice said.

In August, the same group appeared to claim responsibility for attacking Sony’s PlayStation Network and interrupted the travel plans of the president of Sony Online Entertainment, by tweeting that there may be explosives on his American Airlines plane.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. Katherine Landergan can be reached at katherine.landergan1@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @klandergan.